Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Water for ritual purification (Brief Introduction)

This water must be pure (Taahir), purifying* (muTahhir/Tahuur) and preferably not disliked (not makruuh). This water is the pure water of rain, rivers, lakes, wells, dew or the sea. As long as it does not become filthy, or changes by coming in contact with something pure that changes its natural flow and thinness, or is of a higher quantity, or changes its name, then it remains pure and purifying. Water in a pool more than 7 meters across, and water that is flowing, only becomes filthy if a trace of filth (color, taste or smell) appears in it. If the water is still and less than 7 meters across, then it becomes filthy by mere contact with filth (and one is sure that it did.) Filthy water follows the rules of other filth, e.g. urine. The concept of water will receive a more detailed treatement in a later lesson. However, note that there is an important special permit: according to the scholar Malik, the founder of the Maliki school of Islamic Law, water does not become filthy unless the filth’s color, taste or smell appears in it.